Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Primal MKIII quick rules read through

Alright so here is my take on the MKIII rules.

I’m probably late to the party on this, but whatever. The new Primal and Prime rules are a free pdf download from Privateer. Yeah you can start playing with these free rules. How awesome? Very!

Why bother buying the big rulebook then? I have no idea at this time.

Well you can start playing when you get all the updated faction cards. That may be awhile depending on store, interweb and supply/demand.

Anyway a few quick glances and one descent read through and what have we got? Well the same damn game with very minor tweaks. Seriously what did you people think? They were not going to ditch a tight rule set for something new. It is still roll 2D6 and add it to a set value to determine everything.

The changes made were to make the game a bit more mainstream, easier, a bit of initial balancing (until all the unit info is out then the power combos will appear) and dump a few problem/useless rules.

Changes that peaked my interest.
Pre-measure anything at any time.
I guess pre-measuring is a big change, but is it? I mean you could always measure control range. You could measure objective distance.
You could see your opponents control range measurement. You could see how far they deployed or moved. It is played on a 4’x4’ table. Deployment Take all that and do any simple math and  you could figure out distance fairly easy. Plus so many other of the competitors are premeasuring now 40K and Malifaux both allow it so why not change to fit in with them. So is any measure anytime that big of a deal? Not really.

Various melee ranges. It seems there are now a ½”, 1” and 2” melee ranges. Game changing? Not really but new and basically broken down into robot/beasts getting 1”, troopers being 1/” and special weapons being 2”.  Just more to think about now when moving about, and might be annoying for a while to remember the ½” range on little guys without spears.

We all know tough doesn’t work while knocked down. Good for me, bad for the trolls I face a lot.

Charging is no longer affected by movement penalties. Well that sucks! I loved stopping the charge threat by dropping a -2 to SPD stats. Guess this was a streamline type rule change. You know to make the game easier or more fun? Not a big fan of this change, but whateves.

Push, Headlock and Weapon Lock power moves are gone. Did anyone get upset about this? Glad they are gone. Never wasted the time doing them.

Easier to pull off back strikes now and that is good. That was always a great rule, but not as easy to pull off.

Good bye overboosting powerfields. Now you can just do a +5 ARM bonus once per instance of damage instead. Never really camped focus anyway since it always replenishes. This will be a big change for some players, or will it? You still get an good ARM buff, but it is one and done. Still if you have 3 focus to spare you could burn them to get a +5 bonus 3 separate times. I’m going a bit cross-eyed now.

Warjacks get one free focus per turn and Warbeast give fury after they die. We knew this already, but it is still a big change. Plus it really helps those poor warlocks in the late game. Get more players to use more robots and monsters! You know the tenets the games are based upon. I love these changes and welcome more monsters/robot to the tabletop!

Re-work the throw power attack a bit for the positive. The previous version felt clunky. Plus if you didn’t throw guys around a lot you have to wade through a page of text to figure it out. Simplify it a bit for the good of the game. More robots hurling guys at other guys in battle! Yes please!

Gone are terror, fear, abomination, rally, flee, command and skill checks. Good! I can count on one hand how many of these I ever had to make. The answer is two. I thought these were always annoying and just more rules to remember and rarely use.

Theme force got a re-work and needed some fix as they were either too good or too bad/ hell they still might be. Will have to wait and see until they release them.

Did I see unit attachments get a tweak too? My two units of shifty rocks can each take a rock tender now?  Instead of just one unit getting one guy?
Well then hooray! Limited attachments are limited by the number of usable units or some such. Will be interesting to see how that plays out.

Changes I wonder about

Well now there is terrain that causes effects (fire, corrosion). Why? 40K and Warhammer started doing these terrain effects and I thought it was dumb there. Now Privateer is doing it too? No thank you. Fun idea for a scenario or story, but for regular games? Nope.

Minions and Mercenaries are now free to mix and match. Gone are the various pacts for thee units (Blindwater Congergation, Four Star Syndicate etc.) I guess if you want to run Farrow and Gators in the same list then go bonkers. I guess dwarves and pirates can be a full time thing now. It makes it easier, but does it make it better? No idea.

Deployment zone changes. Hmmmm. The first player deploys 7” in and the second player 10”. Not sure if I like or hate this yet. Not even sure why they did this, but whateves for now.

The fully within rule when looking at terrain and cloud effects. Yep get those bases all the way into area effects and terrain to gain the concealment/cover rule. This feels more of a nit-pick change, but hey I don’t right the rules. I just need to remember them.

You can still remove effects like blind and stationary with a focus/fury. However, the crappy roll 1-2 on a D6 to stop fire and corrosion still apply. Not sure why some effects are removable easily and others are a 1:3 chance? Really was hoping continuous effects would change.
Plus I just hate hate hate continuous fire and never seem to remove it fast enough!

Granted there are a lot more changes, but they all seem minor. Well that or they are units I don’t have or plan to have (calvary, battle engines, gargantuans). There were also tweaks to rules like gunfighter, eyeless sight, weapon qualities, and a myriad of other rules. They are all minor and don’t look to alter the game much or needed to be adjusted (looking at you eyeless sight at least you can’t see through trees now).

The real test will be when the rules for all the units are available. Then people can start to exploit the system like they always do. Find the next big list like they always do. Complain about X over Y like they always do. You know all the usual arguments  that populate the forums, blogs and game stores.

I will be interested to see what they changed with the units “everybody” uses vs. the units “nobody” uses. That is where the rubber wilt hit the proverbial road for me. Until then all I can do is learn the changes and be able to roll when/if I ever get the updated unit cards and rules.

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